The most exciting game of our season happens today. You never forget the cup finals. Win, lose, or… well, those are the only two options, you remember.
You win, and you have the BIGGEST party ever.
You lose, you have the longest walk down Wembley way you can imagine.
Arsene Wenger has it all to play for today. The man is under the most pressure he’s ever been under as an Arsenal manager. Fans have turned on him this season, it’s arguable that the players have also given up on his ideas, and the board are wavering.
Antonio Conte, the fiery Italian with big ideas, is within licking distance of a first season double. He reinvented the 3-4-3 after stealing the idea from Wenger 32 years ago when he was 15 years old. Whoever is the owner of the formation, it’s been dubbed bulletproof this season. Chelsehasve climbed from a shameful 10th, to Premier League winners… and get this… they’re now kind of likeable.
So what’s on Wenger’s mind at the moment? How about these quite INCREDIBLE comments of delusion about fan pressure.
“One big problem now is big companies no longer make decisions based on whether they are good for the company but whether it is popular.
“I don’t care about that. I want to make a decision on if it is right or wrong.
“I focus only on football. All the rest is just artificial debate.”
Man, I don’t want to go too deeply into this. But this sort of chat certainly doesn’t sound like it’s coming from a man who knows he has a reported 2 year deal on the table either way. But sheesh, read that. Boards, around the world, making decisions for popularity, not the good of the club?
If we’re focusing on football this season, it’s hard to see where the artificial debate is? Poor results, poor standing in the table, crashing out of Europe, star players wanting to move on. Where is the argument for him to stay on?
I mean, it’s likely he will. But what’s artificial is that there would be NO logical reason for keeping someone like Wenger on, espeically when you consider what the new breed of managers is doing to the Premier League already.
Sorry, I’m being negative… let me channel my inner Sol.
FA Cup Final pic.twitter.com/cbhpeglyuT
— Sol Campbell (@SolManOfficial) May 26, 2017
ANYWAY, how about the game?
Well, that’s pretty uninspiring as well. We have Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Monreal playing at the back. Wenger might switch back to a flat back 4, because that’ll give more stability. Bring in Bellerin to make a difference at right back. In midfield, we’ve got to hope for some sort of magic to happen with Rambo, Xhaka and Coquelin. I’ve no idea what he’s thinking for the front three, but Sanchez, Giroud and Chamberlain?
What will be interesting to see is quite how panicked Wenger is about his future. My instant worry is that he’s already making a howler of a decision by opting for Ospina in goal. The guy is a very average keeper at best, he’ll be rusty and he’ll know he’s playing in a weak team. Not to mention that Petr Cech has been excellent of late. Wenger going for Ospina is two fingers to the fans, especially if the rumours are true that the Colombian is moving on this summer.
The second telltale sign will be geared around how he sets up. Wenger quite often goes the pragmatist route when he’s under major pressure. If he goes toe-to-toe against Conte, he’s going to get fcuking trounced. However, if he’s smart, then maybe he should look at how Jose Mourinho wins finals… or important games.
Minimise the risk, let Chelsea have the ball, capitalise on their mistakes… SUCK THE JOY OUT OF THE GAME.
We need to channel our inner 2005 FA Cup final, where, if you care to remember, we played a dirty game where we were battered for a whole 120minutes, then nicked the game in a penalty shootout, Paddy V scoring with his last kick for Arsenal.
Horrible to watch, but we ended with a trophy. Who will care how we win this, under the circumstances we face today? No one.
Wenger has to be realistic today. His barmy comments about what’s good for the club don’t give me much hope. His view that this current crop could win the Premier League says to me he’s not grounded in the realities of this season. His weird attempt at comparing this squads achievements this year with the invincibles, really brought tears of sadness to my eyes.
Today, offers us up the chance to see if Arsene Wenger has recognised any flaws in his approach this season, because make no mistake, this Chelsea side are coming for a war. Can the boys find the fire that’s been mising in large chunks this year? Will the momentum of the last 4 games translate against a team that has checked out? Will Arsene reign king of the FA Cup finals?
Can the boys find that fire that’s been mising in large chunks this year? Will the momentum of the last 4 games translate against a team that has checked out? Will Arsene reign king of the FA Cup finals?
We’ll wait and see. All questions will be answered 17:30 today!
Have a safe day everyone, and listen to the below podcast for some nostalgia and an FA CUP song blast from the past.
COME ON YOU REDS! x